In drag racing, there is a fine line between success and failure, and lately, Vincent Nobile has been on the wrong side of it. With most NHRA Pro Stock races decided by just a few thousandths of a second, starting line reaction time is critical for success, but the quest for a perfect light can also lead to a foul-start; something that Mountain View Racing driver Vincent Nobile is painfully aware of. Nobile’s chance to win this weekend’s Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway ended when he fouled out against round one opponent Kurt Johnson.
“I made a mistake, plain and simple,” said Nobile. “On the starting line, I rolled into the staging lights a little further than I wanted to and when I let the clutch out, I knew I had red-lighted. I was afraid that might happen and it did. I feel horrible for the whole Mountain View team because they gave me a car that absolutely could have won this race and I threw it away.”
During qualifying, Nobile did indeed have one of the best cars in the field as he qualified the Nick Mitsos-tuned Mountain View Dodge Avenger to a 6.659 that was good for the No. 3 spot in the tight field. Nobile also managed to score six bonus points based on his four solid qualifying runs at the Bristol track, affectionately known at Thunder Valley.
“Earlier this year, our goal was to improve our qualifying performances and we’ve done that,” said Nobile. “We’ve worked hard to improve our car and [engine builders] Roy and Allen Johnson have been providing us with great power. Now, we need for the driver to be there and I plan on doing just that. I feel like a relief pitcher that’s just blown a save. I’m going to put this behind me, get my head on straight, and then come out at the next race and drive the way I know I can drive. This team is too good; we should be in contention for wins at just about every race.”
Despite the loss, Nobile did not leave Bristol empty-handed as his strong qualifying performance has all but assured that the Mountain View Dodge will be a part of the upcoming K&N Horsepower Challenge event in Norwalk, Ohio on July 7. The K&N Horsepower Challenge is a special $50,000 to win event that is open only to the top eight NHRA Pro Stock drivers based on their qualifying performances over the last 12-months. Nobile is currently ranked sixth in the field.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing tour will now head to Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. For the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals, June 28-July 1.